Roadtest: Volkswagen ID.3

18 Jun 2021 | 01.53 pm

Roadtest: Volkswagen ID.3

Transported into the near-enough future

18 Jun 2021 | 01.53 pm

The Volkswagen ID.3 fully electric car is an appealing vehicle and an engaging drive, writes Mark Gallivan

If the Volkswagen e-Golf was the German car giant putting its toe in the fully electric car sea, the new ID.3 sees the company jumping right in. The ID.3 was launched last year, with a first edition as tested here. Private and business buyers will be offered seven variants of the 2021 model, and the remaining first editions still in dealers where available.

With no combustion engine or gearbox, engineers can mount the battery deep into the floor, offering more cabin room, lower centre of gravity and a reduction in front axle weight over a conventional Golf. All but one of the seven variants uses a 58kWh battery, with the flagship ID.3 maxing to 77kWh. Depending on which derivative you choose, the claimed battery range ranges from 415km (ID.3 Max) and 542km (ID.3 Tour) on a WLTP combined cycle.

ID.3 prices for private buyers start at €33,770 on the road  after grants and rebates, and €38,770 OTR for business buyers. Both entry spec ID.3 Life versions use the 58kW battery pack. Volkswagen claims anywhere between 15.5 and 16.2 of kWh/100km consumption. On this test that figure is relatively accurate. The Lithium Ion battery can be charged to 100% in 35 minutes at a fast charger.

The new ID.3 is taller, wider and just under 130mm longer in wheelbase than the Golf, giving occupants greater interior cabin space.

Inside the ID.3, you are transported into the near-enough future. It looks conventionally minimalist and the absence of a central transmission tunnel keeps the floor structure relatively flat. Families used to the Golf’s average interior space will be surprised by the better legroom, though some of the materials used are sub-Golf quality.

The boot space roughly matches the standard Golf for practicality. The front driver’s instrument binnacle screen is only a few inches larger than a conventional smartphone, with all primary infotainment accessed through the large central screen. Volkswagen is also paying homage to BMW’s i3 fully electric car in using a similarly designed gear lever selector from the i3 on the side of the front driver’s binnacle.

The ID.3 displays impressively low body roll with decently weighted steering. For me, the ID.3 is more engaging to drive than the mid-tier Golf, which is accentuated by the silence of the battery drive. The 0-100km time of 7.7 seconds is well short of Tesla Standard’s 5.6 seconds, though the ID.3’s acceleration is sufficiently fast off the line for the urban environments where the car will be driven.

Objectively, the ID.3 never attains the Golf’s legendary outright refinement or feeling of construction solidity. It’s still early days in the ID.3’s development and the first edition version is an impressively rounded and appealing new BEV. The ID.3 holds enough appeal to attract electric sceptics away from conventional petrol and diesel powered cars.

SPECIFICATIONS

Model: Volkswagen ID.3
From: €33,770 OTR (before SEAI grant/VRT rebate rebate/delivery €40,370)
Power: Rear located electric motor/58-78kWh/single-speed automatic rear-wheel drive
Performance: 0-100km in 7.3 seconds/204hp/ 160km/h top speed
Range: 415km to 542km
Road Tax: €120 (0g/km)
Verdict: Volkswagen’s new ID.3 fully-electric car overtakes segment rivals

Comments are closed.